Nigerians have been experiencing fuel scarcity for months with no end to the trouble in sight. Online news platform Per Second News blames the situation on the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
According to the news platform, the recommendation of hired consultants may have been responsible for what some inner circle members in the petroleum sector, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), described as ‘sabotage’ in the free flow of the distribution and sales of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The Minister on assumption of office had directed that officers from the position of Deputy Managers and above should be redeployed from the PPMC to the NNPC without proper arrangement and consideration for replacement and effective takeover of their functions, based on advise from the external consultants he engaged.
The development, according to Per Second News, created a wide gulf in the system that the NNPC is still battling to correct without success. As an emergency stop gap, the Minister hurriedly directed the Department of Crude Oil Marketing of the NNPC to as a matter of urgency takeover the function of the PPMC’s redeployed managers. Unfortunately, most top marketers have strong links with the redeployed PPMC officials who understand their chains of distribution network.
A top ranking staff of the NNPC reportedly told a correspondent of Per Second News on condition of anonymity, that it is like asking an aircraft pilot to drive a Railway train. “The two don’t go together because they have completely different training, experience and functions.”
“Crude Oil Marking is not saddled with the responsibility of importing refined petroleum products. That is why they are now battling with the system while the PPMC are watching the drama go on,” the NNPC staff said.
Kachikwu, according to industry experts lack the technical know-how in the Up and Down stream sector of the oil industry as he mainly worked in the administration department of Exxon-Mobil thus not really in a position to understand the complexities of a corporation like the NNPC and its subsidiaries.